Thursday, August 7, 2014

Class Careers ~ Jobs to Help Your Classroom Run Smoothly

I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things about teaching 5th grade is the level of responsibility you can give to your students.  Our days are packed with curriculum and there is so much to do that I just can't do it all myself.  In order to keep my classroom working efficiently I have come up with a jobs system that I call my "Class Careers".

On the first week of school, I hand out a "Careers" packet to my students.  This contains a list of class jobs that we need for our room, along with a description of each job, and an application for the students to fill out.  I call them careers because I actually have my students perform one job for the entire year.  For those of you who can easily implement a job rotation weekly or evenly monthly, I applaud you.  I just don't have the stamina to keep track of that and, quite frankly, I like having my students learn one job REALLY well so that I can depend on them in any situation to complete (unexpected absences, etc.).

Once I hand out the Class Careers Packet, I go over all of the job descriptions with my students and get them excited about each and every one. If you make every job important in your class, you will have at least one person that will want to do it.  One of my favorite jobs that we have is called "tech support".  I started this job in my class because I was struggling to help students in the computer lab when there were about 12 computers acting up and only one of me to help my kids.  I always happen to have many quick, computer-savvy students who are eager to jump and help their friends, so this is the perfect job for them to have.  They feel such a sense of pride in fixing things for their classmates and it truly helps me during stressful technological situations.

After we have gone over all of the jobs, I have them fill out an application so that I can be sure they understand the responsibilities of the job they apply for, as well as explain to me what qualities they possess that will make them perfect for that role.  Each year I am impressed by the responses my students come up with.  Here are a few from this year:

Since we start school on a Monday, I have applications due Friday and I have all jobs chosen the following Monday.  In order to help decide, I created an organizer where I can write down all the names of people who applied for each job, along with their choice ranking.  I try to fulfill all first choices first and then make my way down through second choices.  I haven't ever really had an issue with someone not getting a job they wanted (knock on wood!).

I'm so excited to reveal my students' jobs on Monday and I'm truly looking forward to a fantastic new year with my incredible 5th graders.  I hope you all have a great year as well!

You can get my Class Careers Packet HERE.  It is also available as part of my new Classroom Organizational Materials Pack.

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